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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  April 12, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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these rules. so what we have is a cftc that cannot complete the mandate that they have and, i fact, they're not even going to look at some of this stuff until next year. >> so will we see $5 a gallon gas this summer? >> i think there is no doubt about it, ed. all of this money continues to come in. there is nothing really to stop it. you have a lot of reasons more money will throw in. >> tonight in our survey i asked should the democrats vote for the budget deal? 8% of you said yes. 92% of you said no. that's the ed show. i'm ed schultz. see you tomorrow night as we head to madison, wisconsin. town hall meeting at the barrymore theater 6:30 to 8:00. the last word with lawrence o'donnell starts right now. the top marginal tax rate for america's richest in 1945 was 94%. it's now 35%. president obama is expected to tell the american people tomorrow that taxes for the rich cannot stay low if we're going to solve our debt problem. speaker boehner has already responded with this tweet.
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tax increases are a non-starter. >> does the president feel that the ryan plan is fundamentally unfair? >> yes. >> i'm not kidding you. i'm serious. they want lower tax breaks for millionaires. ç >> the president prepares a counter to the next republican budget. >> president obama and his senior staff are putting the finishing touches on a response to the ryan plan. >> president obama calling for tax increases for the rich. >> the president is going to make that case tomorrow, could you smile? >> yeah. >> you can't have a balanced budget without tax increases. it's like trying to put together a peanut birth and jelly sandwich without the jelly, and everybody knows the good part is the jelly. >> we just don't fund our government agencies like they need to be funded. >> more of air france jets can whack over little planes. >> republicans and democrats are still figuring out just what was
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in the last deal. >> he would not guarantee that this would pass with republican support. >> the epa getting cut by 1.6 billion, high speed rail, aids prevention, defense increase though. that was the plus side. >> people from the left saying the president gave away way too much, 504 million cuts to women, infants and children's nutritional fund. >> it's unbalanced, and in that sense the democrats gave up too much. >> the president is also being asked to take on gun controls. >> the man who killed gabe and five others shot 31 bullets in 15 seconds. and that is what happened on january 8th. this type of tragedy cannot be allowed to happen again. >> and the republican presidential contenders are just asking for some attention. >> timing is certainly interesting for mitt romney. >> brave? some might call it a political mistake. >> are democrats trying to take health care off the table for 2012? >> are you asking that with with a straight face? let him have his day.
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>> look who bounced sarah palin as the bright shiny object dazzling republicans. >> i'm not romney, perhaps. >> i think the republican party likes me very much. >> and apparently all you need to do in the gop these days is repeat the birther lines, and the suckers will love you. >> good evening from washington. i'm chris hayes in for lawrence o'donnell. the big question coming out of the compromise negotiations that averted a government shutdown was what actually got cut? today we got our answer. the bill with all the $38.5 billion in cuts was posted online at 2:00 a.m. as for the most high-profile issues, planned parenthood and the epa, planned parenthood avoided a complete defunding that would have come courtesy of pence amendment, but the title 10 program which supports women's health centers, including planned parenthood, had its budget cut slightly from 317 million to 300 million. the environmental protection agency fared worse. much worse.
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its budget was cut by 16%. mostly from programs that protect against polluters. and there were cuts to the usual conservative targets like foreign aid and americorps, a national service organization which counts, interestingly enough, michele bachmann's son among its ranks. on thursday the house of representatives will vote on this agreement to fund the government until september 30th when the fiscal year ends. the bill is expected to pass the house with a margin likely provided by democrats who thus far have been quite tepid about the $38 billion agreement. they may, however, feel a bit better about the deal president obama brokered after seeing the details today. the fact is this deal cuts less than $15 billion from discretionary spending. the other 23 billion that is a cut is number shuffling, like taking back $6.2 billion in unused 2010 census funds and 3 billion in highway money that hasn't yet been spent. let's put the 15 billion in discretionary spending cuts in context. discretionary spending is about
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$1.4 trillion, which is only about a third of all the money the u.s. will spend in 2011. 15 billion is 1% of the discretionary spending. the dramatic standoff that almost shut down the federal government was fighting over cuts to one-third of 1% of what we'll spend overall this fiscal year. that is not to diminish the actual impact of any cut to any individual program or agency. the government is about services and not about ledgers. the $786 million in first responder grants, which this bill cuts, may only be 2% of thç homeland security budget, but can fund a whole lot and most americans care most about funding just one, the one in their neighborhood. the point is this budget deal does very little to improve the nation's fiscal situation, and it manages to do quite a bit in terms of the programs and jobs and cuts for programs and jobs that help an awful lot of people.
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joining me now to discuss this are two house members on opposite sides of the aisle, democratic congressman raul grijalva, the chair of the progressive caucus and republican congressman joe walsh of illinois, a member of the tea party caucus. congressman walsh, i want to start with you. given that the figures have come out today that a fair amount, if not the majority of these cuts, are essentially accounting cuts, do you feel like you got rolled? do you feel that boehner got rolled in these negotiations? >> no, and you know what, chris, i've been pretty clear from the outset that i want us to be bold. i want my republican leadership to be bold, but, look, from a negotiation perspective, when you look at this compromise, the republicans won. let's be frank. the president didn't want to cut period. he called for a freeze. he actually called to increase non-defense discretionary spending 40 billion this year. i'm not happy with it. i wish it went further, but as a straight negotiation, the republicans won this, and i
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would argue the american people won because, chris, it's not enough for me, but they sent us here to cut, and this is a pretty good first step. >> congressman grijalva, given that you've had a chance to look over the cuts today, i'm wondering if you're planning to vote yay on this on thursday when it comes up? >> no, i'm not. i'm going to vote no, as i've called it the vote to keep the government open for five days was the under card until we received details, and the details are distressing for many reasons, but i think the most distressing part of it is the template that's being set, a template that says, you know, we're going to push fairness down the scale. we're going to put jobs down the scale. those to aspire to be the middle class and the middle class. we're going to take care of the 2% that take care of the republican party. we're going to make sure they
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are covered. the corporations are covered, and -- and so, you know, i think this vote that we have on the continuing resolution is a precursor to the vote on the ryan bill and a vote on the debt ceiling. >> congressman walsh, congressman grijalva brings up the question of fairness and distribution. the tea party doesn't tend to talk about this, and members of your caucus tend not to talk about this. when you look at the composition of the cuts, 600 million taken away from community health centers and 500 million taken away from the wic program. does it matter to you how these cuts are composed? does it matter to your colleagues in the tea party caucus that the strain is going to be felt the most by people at the bottom of the social pyramid? >> look, chris, it does. it does, but understand something here. this is -- this is step one. we're all in this together, and -- and everybody's got to put something on the table. am i happy with each and every cut, no, but it is so important -- what's not fair is
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this. we are bankrupting future generations. we all know that. the president knows that, and you said in your lead that he brokered a deal. i've got to be honest, chris. he's been awol. he's been awol until this last week on this -- on these -- on these continuing resolution negotiations. remember, we're doing right now what the democratic party didn't do last year. they did not pass a budget. why? i think because they were embarrassed by how big the numbers are. we've got -- the american people sent us here to cuts, and after this fight is over, there's going to be a genuine fight on the debt ceiling and the budget. we're -- where the dollars are going to be big. >> congressman grijalva, i'll let you respond in a second. one more follow-up, congressman walsh. when you say that we're ç bankrupting future generations, which i don't agree, but let's put that aside. >> i don't know how you can't, chris.
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>> but the bankrupting of future generations, if said bankrupting exists, doesn't come from the 12% of the budget that's non-defense discretionary funding. >> absolutely, chris. >> the only part of the budget that the republicans would allow anyone to consider under this deal so how -- that can't be a talking point to defend these cuts. >> no, no, no, look. chris, it comes from everything -- you're right. all we're doing here is going after non-defense discretionary. you want to stop the path of bankruptcy that we're on? you have got to go after entitlements. social security, medicare and medicaid. we need to reform these entitlements to save them, and, again, respectfully, chris, i'd say the president put forth a budget a month and a half ago and he didn't even talk about them. republicans are willing to do that. >> let me get congressman grijalva's take on that. you heard congressman walsh sec owing sort of the ryan plan. what do you make of that? >> well, i think it's -- it's a destructive proposal.
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it's a destructive proposal to the middle class. it's a destructive proposal to young families and their children, and i -- the -- my colleague has a point. everything should be on the table. the american people have said we need to cut, and -- and i agree with that. that's why the congressional progressive caucus is offering an alternative budget. our budget cuts, it looks at the subsidies for big gas and big oil and for nuclear energy. it looks at the tax breaks that are giving corporations that are taking the jobs overseas. we're looking at the 2% that has found success in this country economically in the last two years, the upper 2%, while the other 98% has had to deal with the reality of the economic crisis that we're in, and we're talking about investing in education, and we're talking about leaving medicare, medicaid and social security alone, reinforcing them and making them productive but not dismantling them. that is where it's going to be this year.
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it's about the american people ç have said we want to cut, but they have also been very specific about what they want cut. both the republican budget, the ryan budget, and, unfortunately, the administration is -- is not listening to the american people when they point out the areas in which they think there's access and more importantly selfishness because if the budget is a shared responsibility, as my colleague said, and a shared sacrifice, let's let everybody share in that sacrifice, and the ryan budget is about 2% of the public versus 98% of the public. >> congressman walsh, i want -- i'll give you the last word here. i want you to respond specifically on the question of defense which you poll is very high in the american people's priorities when you ask them what you want to see cut. is that something that you want to see the republican leadership in the house take on as we move to this next budget discussion? >> absolutely, chris. defense is on the table, and there are cuts that can be made in defense.
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you can go after energy subsidies. can you go after farm subsidies. look, can you go after all of this stuff, but it's irresponsible to say we can't reform social security, medicare and medicaid because we all know right now those are the principal drivers that have us on a path that's not sustainable. to save those programs for future generations, we have to be adults and reform them now. >> okay. congressman joe walsh of illinois, congressman raul grijalva of arizona, thanks for joining me. >> thank you, chris. >> i'll stipulate that social security is not a problem in the budgetary long run. medicaid and medicare are. when the president and republicans agreed to keep the government open for business on friday, they made a deal to cut $40 billion. that's with a "b," dollars from this year's but. today we finally learned how they are going to make that happen. that's next. and later, five years after mitt romney brought romneycare to massachusetts, he's signaling
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a run for the white house and speaking out against president obama's health care plan, but what has romneycare really done for massachusetts? governor deval patrick will join me.ç it bringsings your bestbes s it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt ofof th ththat lets yos your employeloy, pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the
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how are the president and republicans cutting nearly $40 billion from this year's budget? real accounting, smoke p mirrors or of boat? details are out. we'll break them down next. speaking of cutting, president obama will unveil his plan for a long-term budget tomorrow. what should he say? former governor howard dean is ahead on "the last word." it's positive. positive? we're gonna have a baby. ♪
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house appropriations will release details on the fiscal 2011 budget compromise, and it's nearly $40 billion in non-defense spending cuts, the most in our nation's history in nominal terms. turns out some of those cuts are more or less accounting gimmickry, cutting federal funding the government wouldn't have spent anyway. for example, a $4.9 billion supposed cut to the justice department's crime victims fund. that money would have never been spent. the fund has other sources of revenue.ç there's also the $1.7 billion phantom cut of unspent 2010 census money. that said, there are some cuts that have very, very real effects. 390 million that helped low-income family pay energy bills, 2.9 billion for building high speed rail, but of all the cuts in the bill, the biggest ideological hit was to programs that identify climate change and curb its effects. keep in mind, there was a time when some republicans accepted climate change as fact. >> the overwhelming majority of scientific opinion in america today and in the world is that
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climate change is real. the fact is that it is real. >> in 2003 senator mccain co-sponsored a bill that would have established a cap-and-trade system. he reintroduced similar versions to the senate in 2005 and 2007, and then he ran for president and ditched those efforts. another republican picked up the slack in 2009. >> i am no scientist, but i've traveled throughout the world with senator mccain and others and seen the effects of a warming planet, and i do believe all of the cars we have on the road and the trucks and all the energy we use, the production of carbon daley is not a good thing for the plan. >> february 2010 senator graham declared, quote, cap and trade is dead because somewhere along the way republicans decided that climate change was all an enormous hoax, but republicans didn't just have to kill cap and trade, you see. now they want to target the
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agent stay could do anything about climate change, the environmental protection agency. in the 2011 budget bill the epa's budget is cut by 1.6 billion, a 16% decrease from fiscal year 2010. not only did republicans go after the agency that protects against climate change or at least theoretically could, they went after the information-gathering arm. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, noaa lost a total of $142 million in funding, plus the budget compromise prohibits funding for the establishment of a climate service at noaa. the idea behind the climate ç service was to make information about the climate readily available to the public in the same way the national weather service makes information about the weather readily available to the public. republicans don't want this information made public because they have decided that information about the earth's climate is a kenyan socialist plot to impose command-and-control economy and
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usher in the united states, soviet states or something. i tend to lose track. joining me now to discuss the cuts, heather mcgee, director of the washington offices of a non-partisan public policy reach and advocacy organization. thanks for being here, heather. >> thanks, chris. >> when you're looking through these at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, what stuck out to you? >> really the overarching lack of accountability for the number one issue on most american's minds which is jobs. >> right. >> we know that cutting non-defense discretionary spending by this much is going to cost about 400,000 jobs. we know, that for example, cutting high speed rail, high speed rail, $3 billion works have added 1 million jobs. there's just not the focus on what we know to be the most important issue in america right now which is the unemployment crisis. >> you've been in washington for a few years, and you've watched this debate move in this direction. what -- how would you characterize the step that we took on friday in terms of where the conversation has moved from
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jobs and investment, which i think was the conversation in 2009 around the recovery act to austerity and cuts, cuts, cuts, despite the fact that we still have 9% unemployment basically. >> it's an upside world. during the great depression when fdr cut spending in 1937, we slid back into the depression. have you to realize the uk did the same thing. made major cuts last year that hurt pensioners and students and things like that. also their gdp growth shrank by 2%. we're sort of ticking away from the major policy concerns of most americans, which is getting our recovery back on track. most importantly, democrats are losing the message that sort of supports their entire economic philosophy which is that government has a role in helping build the middle class and helping stimulate our economy and nearly 10% unemploymenu0is a crisis, and it's an outrage >> i noticed, as i was going through it, there's $600 million for community health centers. >> nurses. >> right. there's this cut to fema, first responders, of about 700
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million. >> yes. >> do you think we're going to see between now and thursday, are we going to see negotiation on that? are we going to see backlash? are people going to fight those? >> yeah. honestly, i'm a little bit concerned, you know, that there's actually going to be a little bit of a revolt from the right on this, as we see that some of the money that was -- that was, you know, said to be cut is actually not going to be, you know, real spending in terms of a natural decrease. that said, i mean, let's take one program. >> okay. >> for example, a program that's been zeroed out, it's important to look at the programs being completely zeroed out, and this is the hud housing counselors. >> right. >> we've got one out of four americans in this country who has a mortgage underwater. we've got nearly 5 million foreclosures anticipated by the end of the year, and these are the people who sit down with people who are struggling to pay their bills. they are not the foreclosure fraud, you know, rescue scams. these are the private sector for the most part who are getting government contracts to help
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people to figure out how to stay in their homes that. program is completely zeroed out. >> is this -- are we seeing here a kind of prophetic vision of what the austerity era will look like? because i think one of the things that happened, just talking to congressman joe walsh, farm subsidies are not in here. >> right. >> defense is not in here. the mortgage deduction was in simpson-bowles, but it seems to me like there's a tremendous distributional mismatch in terms of who gets their ox gored. >> absolutely. this whole exercise, about $38 billion. $34 billion was the amount that this -- we could have just stopped this whole exercise by not doing the inheritance tax giveaway from the december tax deal. this is like the paris hilton giveaway. >> just to be clear, that's -- that's a very small amount of estates, right? >> very richest wealthiest. >> over $5 million, exactly. so if we had not done that in
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december, we wouldn't have had to make any of these cuts. >> heather mcgee bringing the knowledge as always. appreciate it very much. >> thanks, chris. after telling a huge lie about planned parenthood that we told you about on friday, senator jon kyl is being taught a lesson by stephen colbert and colbert's weapon of choice, a hash tag on twitter. and a preview of president obama's budget plan ahead on "the last word." hey susie, why don't you use this ? it's got a calculator. thanks, dad.
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friday's rewrite, lawrence pointed out a preposterous and all too easily checkable lie senator jon kyl told about planned parenthood. what followed was to quote lawrence one of the strangest ç clarifications in senate history. we weren't the only ones who noticed. >> planned parenthood should not get a dime of federal money, and arizona senator jon kyl knows why. >> if you want an abortion you go to planned parenthood and that's well over 90% what have planned parenthood does. >> over 90%, that's unbelievable, in that it is not true. because only 3% of what planned parenthood does is abortions. kyl just rounded up to the nearest 90. besides, when this 87% discrepancy was pointed out, kyl's office immediately released the following statement to cnn. >> and -- you know what, i want to give it to you verbatim. it says his remark was not intended to be a factual
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statement. >> see? it was not intended to be a factual statement. now, i can say things like jon kyl has a vestigial tail and it's not where you think it would be. there's a reason he never wears a tank top. note. that was not intended to be a factual statement. >> since last night colbert and his followers have been having fun on twitter with the hash tag not intended to be a factual statement. some of our favorites include jon kyl has a shrine to scooter from "the muppet show." jon kyl cheated on sandra bullock. jon kyl wants hit a badger he hit with his car and jon kyl is one of gadhafi's sexy ninja guards but this tweet was sent out on friday. tonight i had dinner with glenn beck at burger king. he ordered a whopper junior.
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today progress tweeted they were filing a class action suit against colbert for stealing the joke and, of course, included the hash tag not intended to be a factual statement. after a fierce budget battle with republicans on capitol hill, tomorrow president obama will unveil his vision for the the nation. what can we expect? former head of the dnc howard dean is next. and it's a not so happy birthday for romney care. five years after mitt romney launched his health care plan as the governor of massachusetts, candidate mitt romney hopes republican voters forget all about it. coming up, massachusetts governor deval patrick joins me. . [ ding ] [ in korean ] how may i help you? do you have something for pain? ♪ oh, bayer aspirin? oh, no, no, no... i'm not having a heart attack. it's my back. trust me. it works great for pain. [ male announcer ] nothing's proven to relieve pain better
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speech will not be, quote, primarily an embrace of simpson/bowles, a plan that includes cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid
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and has been called by some the cat food commission by progressive critics. a reference to what americans will be forced to eat if entitlements are slashed. but perhaps the president will not endorse the commission at all and will instead draw a bold contrast to the republican plan by calling for raising taxes on wealthy americans and requiring them to pay more into social security. white house officials tell "washington post" ezra klein will,will all, quote, make more sense tomorrow so we'll have to wait and see. but speaker john boehner isn't waiting, warning president obama that raising taxes is unacceptable and a non-starter. today he released a statement praising republican congressman paul ryan's plan that would, quote, lift the crushing burden children's future, yadda, yadda. priorities disagrees. its analysis finds that chairman ryan's claim his plan produced $1.6 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade is based primarily on gimmicks and errors. after making $4.2 trillion, $4.2 trillion in tax cuts, the numbers in ryan's plan actually produce just a paltry $155 billion in real deficit reduction over ten years, total. that's over the whole ten years.
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despite proposing the most severe budget cuts in u.s. severe budget cuts in u.s. history, two-thirds of which would come from programs for people of low or moderate incomes. ryan's plan in fact ignores the most important elements for long-term fiscal health. taxes, defense and health care costs. today taxes is a percentage of our gdp is at a 60-year low. the defense budget has almost doubled in just the last decade. that's in real dollars. a plan that was serious will long-term deficit reduction would dramatically cut defense spending, eliminate the bush tax cuts and take all tax cuts back to the clinton era at least and find a way to slow the growth of health care costs. the republican plan does not do any of these things. we'll see if the white house offers a plan that makes sense tomorrow. joining me now is former governor howard dean. it's got a lot of praise on its first day. david brooks wrote a long love
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letter in the "new york times" to it, a lot of swooning, and as the details have coming out that's seemed to unravel, what do you make of it? >> i can't wait until the 2012 election. what the ryan plan does is put the seniors of this country in the hands of the insurance company. it's the last thing they want. he takes away the federal program and basically makes medicare into an insurance company-based plan. the republicans are bought and paid for by corporations in this company. the koch brothers and others, the chevron and all these other people that gave money to the chamber of commerce.ç they own the republican majority. they won't do anything for working people and the ryan plan is a way of taking money away from seniors and giving it to insurance companies. >> i don't know about you, governor, when i'm 82 years old, i don't want to be getting on my old vintage mac book and looking
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at my health insurance forms and fighting with hmos over payment. >> it's not going to happen. >> on my condition. >> the numbers on the ryan plan are going to crater. already starting to go down. the republicans will start to get scared about this. they really are way out, just like scott walker. scott walker probably has lost the judicial race. i don't know where those 15,000 votes went. i don't know what kind of a system they have out there, but probably going to lose a couple of state senators. these guys overreach, and the reason they overreach is they promise a lot of stuff to the middle class and when they get into congress they work for the big corporations, and that's what -- that's what the republicans are doing in congress. >> but, you know, i think you're right. i think there's a huge political opening here, right, but it is only a political opening if the white house in the speech by the president gives cover to this. >> medicare costs do have to be controlled. the way to control them, not to let the insurance companies control them, quote, unquote
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control costs that have gone up three times the rate of inflation. the way to control them is to have a cap payment which is what all kinds of people are starting to do around the country because we do have to deal with costs. you do have to deal with costs in medicare. the way to do it is not to turn over to a system that's wrecked in the first place which is the health insurance companies of this country. there's a lot of things to do. can you slow the growth of social security without taking away benefits and slow the growth of medicare without taking away benefits, and you're right. do you have to also increase taxes. for boehner to say the tax increases are off the table is completely irresponsible. these guys specialize in giving tax cuts to people who make $1 million a year, whether they are taking away money from old people and kids. that's what they have done so far in this budget. >> you know, the irony, just talked about slowing the cost of medicare through capinating and the irony to me is the number one attack that the republicans have on president obama and the affordable care act in the 3 10 election was $500 billion in cuts to medicare. >> chris, those cuts came out of insurance companies. they didn't come out of seniors.
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>> right. >> the difference between obama's cuts and the republican cuts is the republican cuts come out of senior citizens' pockets. the president's cuts came out of providers and insurance companies. he actually made -- and the cbo agrees with this. he -- the president made medicare more sustainable because of health care reform. these guys hate medicare. they hate the welfare state. they hate social security. they hate anything that helps ordinary people. they are in the pay of corporations. that's who paid for their campaigns, and, of course, that's whose tune they are going to dance to. >> finally i want to get your sense what have you would like to see from the president tomorrow night when he lays this out because it seems like it's going to be an opportunity to set the agenda and move it off the conversation about the ryan budget. >> what we should do is we should find a way to capitate medicare and you'll have deval patrick on your program later. they are five years ahead of us and governor romney's plan is five years ahead of president obama's plan. we should restrain the growth of social security.
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you do have to do that and can do that by taking the cap off the benefits and making money available and so forth. we do need to cut defense, and there are republicans who quietly will admit them and one who is not so quietly admitting it is the secretary of defense under george bush who is now the sent of defense under barack obama, and we do also need to deal with entitlements. we can do these things, but both parties are going to have to take a hit, not the republicans doing everything for the corporations which is all they care about. ryan's plan is lunacy. us a point out, it doesn't really save any money. just takes money away from the ordinary middle class people and gives it to the big corporations which is what the republicans specialize in doing. >> former vermont governor howard dean, ryan's plan is lunacy. appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. five years ago governor mitt romney signed into law a sweeping health care reform bill for the people of massachusetts. today republican presidential hopeful romney is shying away from his signature achievement.
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the current governor of massachusetts, deval patrick, will join!]e next. later congressional staffer gabe zimmerman is one of six killed when a gunman opened fire on a local event hosted by his boss congressman gabrielle giffords. earlier today zimmerman's fiance went to the hill to push for stricter gun laws. she will join me coming up. whoa. right? get out. i know! who knew? i mean. exactly! really. that's what i mean. [ mom ] what? shut the front door. right? seriously. who knew? hello sir. bingo! mahjong! for realz. woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] hey, there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. indescribably good.
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next, five years to the day since mitt romney signed the bill creating romneycare. is it something romney should be running away from? massachusetts governor deval patrick is next. ♪ na, na... ♪ na, na-na, na [ men ] ♪ hey, hey, hey ♪ goodbye [ male announcer ] with kohler's powerful, high-efficiency toilets. flush. and done. [ all ] ♪ hey, hey, hey
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as mitt romney begins the endless, grueling, soul-sucking fund-raising process for his bid for the 2012 republican nomination process, democrats want to make sure everyone remembers his biggest achievement as governor of massachusetts.ç signing into law that state's health reform bill exactly five years ago today. here's a flashback. >> when i set out to find a way to get everybody health insurance, i couldn't have cared less and i don't care less about how it works politically. in my view it's the right thing to do. i must admit that i'm pleased with the fact that here in a state that's overwhelmingly democratic, that a republican governor can introduce a plan to get everybody insured, work collaboratively with the democratic legislature, combine with the administration in washington and our delegation there to come up a plan that gets the job done.
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>> time and again the white house has pointed to the massachusetts law as the model for its own affordable care act, better known to republican primary voters as the dread obamacare. joining me now to discuss all this, current massachusetts governor deval patrick, also author of the new book "a reason to believe, lessons from an improbable life" which i want to get to in a moment. governor patrick, thanks so much. you took part in one of these thank you, mitt celebrations, and it seems like you and the democrats are trying to give your predecessor the death hug on this health care, is that right? >> no, not exactly, chris. actually what i took part in was a genuine celebration of five years of extraordinary results in health care reform. there are over 98% of our residents with health insurance today. over 99% of children. no other state in america can touch that, and something that has helped so many people is something that i personally am proud of, and the other framers, members of the democratic
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legislature, the business community, our provider and hospital groups, patient advocates, organized labor, we came together to celebrate this because it was that same coalition, broad coalition that came together to invent health care and stayed together to adjust it as we've gone along. >> governor, i want to ask you about where massachusetts is in terms of delivery of health care, because in some senses you're five years in the future so you can report back from what it looks like in this time. there's been a lot of reporting that says there's generally fairly high levels of approval in the public. >> yes. ç >> obviously coverage has expanded, but cost-containment has been a problem. >> mm-hmm. >> and i want to know, you know, one of the big critiques of the affordable care act it didn't do enough on costs. do you feel the program you have in place is doing enough on cost containment? >> well, first of all, we have, as i said, nearly licked the issue of universal coverage with nearly universal results that we have.
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businesses have increased their coverage for employees. in other words, 70% or so of our businesses provided insurance before the health care reform went into effect. it's 76% or 77% now. people have that health security which has been so enormously important, under any circumstances, but especially during this down economy. the issue of cost increase, and by the way, it's added about 1% to our state budget, but the question of escalating premiums year after year, especially for small business, that's a problem all over the country. that has nothing to do. >> okay. >> with whether we do or do not have universal coverage. >> governor, you have a new book out, and it's memoir. it's fascinating because the story of your life is quite fascinating. >> thank you. >> the trajectory of it. it's kind of that american dream, rise together pinnacle of the meritocracy story. you get a scholarship to milton, go to harvard, harvard law, and my question to you is do you think the country provides that same level of opportunity? is the kind of -- the form of meritocatic achievement which is
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what you walked through and what you walk us through in the book, do you think those institutions are still functioning properly now in terms of an equality of opportunity? >> what an important question, chris, because i think that, frankly, that story is a defining story for our country and that if we aren't about providing a way for people to lift themselves and their families in a generation or two as way my case and as i write about in the book, then we'll lose something that is unique and special and i think exceptional about this country. i think many of those programs and many of those initiatives are still intact, but many of them are under tremendous stress, especially those that ç depend on state and local and federal government support, and i think those are the sorts of things we should be investing in, even in a down economy. that's why in massachusetts we've invested in education at the highest level in the history of the commonwealth, even when the bottom was falling out of everything else, because i know
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education, and i think your viewers would agree, is the path forward in this country. it's the way to lift yourself and your family. >> massachusetts governor deval patrick, author of the new book, "a reason to believe." thanks so much for joining me tonight. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> earlier today the fiancee of gabe zimmerman, the congressional staffer gunned down in the tucson massacre, took her story to capitol hill. her message was simple, get high capacity ammunition magazines out of the hands of killers. kelly o'brien joins us next along with congresswoman carolyn mccarthy. make a wish!
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three months since congresswoman gabby giffords and 18 other people were gunned down in a tucson shopping center parking lot. and only 15 seconds the shooter was able to fire 31 times.ç
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six of the victims were killed, including a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and congressional staffer gabe zimmerman. today zimmerman's fiancee kelly o'brien went to capitol hill pushing congress and the white house to support a pair of amendments to the brady law. they would ban anyone from buying, selling or transferring large-capacity ammunition magazines like the kind used in tucson, anything over ten rounds. clay o'brien is joining with the brady campaign which has unveiled a dramatic new television ad. >> a magazine which allows a gun to fire 32 shots in 16 seconds is only good for one thing, killing a lot of people fast. and that's something we can live without. assault clips. they make everyone a target. >> joining me now, kelly o'brien and new york democratic congresswoman carolyn mccarthy
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who along with democratic senator frank lautenberg of new jersey is sponsoring the legislation to restrict the high-capacity magazines. thank you so much for joining me tonight. miss o'brien, our deepest sympathies, obviously, for your loss. >> thank you. >> thank you, chris. >> kelly, i want to know what motivated you to get involved in this. it obviously must have been a terrible trauma. you're continuing to work through. what prompted you to get involved with this? >> i just felt that this was an issue that could have a lot of impact with very little effort to go into it, just -- just a vote, just ban it, and i think it would make a big difference and a lot of lives could be saved. >> congresswoman, your bill and senator lautenberg's were introduced just days after the shooting, and i want to read you a quote from a story in yesterday's "washington post" talking about president obama's
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point man on gun policy, a guy by the name of steve croley. one area where croley has shown less interest, according to with enorren with him about the issue, is restricting the large volume am nation magazines that allowed the tucson shooter to keep firing. when the subject was broached during the march 15th gathering with croley, officials promptly adjourned the meeting and when president obama wrote an op-ed last month he made no mention of the high-capacity ammo. i wonder if you feel that the white house is completely mia on this issue? >> no. i'll continue to work with the white house mainly because i think it's up to me and certainly people like kelly that has just experienced this terrible tragedy to get those voices in america to stand behind us. that's what we're basically doing. you have to remember we have 107 co-sponsors right now, and if you think back on legislation in the past, you know, sometimes it
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took a year, sometimes two years, to get a piece of legislation done, so we are following the plan that we had right from the beginning, grass roots and also me working member to member to get people to sign on to the bill, so i think that we're actually ahead of schedule when you look at 107 in three -- 107 members have signed on in three months. i understand where the president is coming, and i'm also very happy that the president, for the first time in decades, you know, is talking about reducing gun violence, so we need to have this dialogue. we need to work together, and i'm certainly appreciative that he brought all the gun advocacy groups together, and i'm sorry that the nra did not go to any of the meetings so that we could try and change this conversation and save american people. that's the bottom line. >> kelly, given how awful the shooting in tucson was and just the tremendous outpouring of emotion from the nation, from the people of tucson in arizona,
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and we were all watching, it are you surprised that we haven't heard more outspoken public officials on this issue? do you anticipate there will be more of that? >> see, i don't really know much about poháics. i'm a nurse. i just -- and i don't follow that, but i just know that this needs to happen, and anything that i can do and that the representatives and the president can do to make this bill go, that would -- that's what i'm here for you. >> know, chris, meeting kelly and knowing where she's coming from, it was the same thing for me when i got involved. i knew nothing about politics. i happen to think that's the best politician, by the way, but with that being said it's because of people like kelly that came forward, as i did, so many years ago, victims become advocates to add their voice to what needs to be done, and hopefully, and i know that the president is very sympathetic to